We've made kombucha! It's super easy. Takes a long time, though. DH loves to drink kombucha, but I don't like it.
GAPS Diet Chat and Support - Page 2
Christina: Joanie is right, kraut is super easy and SO much cheaper to make yourself. You can also make weeks worth in one sitting, I'd say it's one of the easier things that I make. Also, I like combination fermented veggies, like cabbage, cauliflower and carrots. Plain kraut gets dull after a while, it's good to spice it up. However, I've tried lacto pickles a few times and they're always too mushy and weird to eat. I even added oak leaves last time and soaked them in ice-water first. It didn't matter, they're still icky. Maybe I need to make pickles with whole mini cucumbers instead of slices? Are the Bubbies pickles crunchy? I think that 'Cultures for Life' sells raw cultured veggies which is supposed to be okay (I think).
Joanie: I've done kombucha before too. It is fairly easy, but you have to keep up with it or the scoby(culture) dies or gets moldy. I'm making water kefir now, which is less fussy and faster. You can often get both kinds of culture at the same place, so you could try both and see what you like more. I'd say that I like kombucha better, but its easier for me to make water kefir while we're traveling.
When we get some place stable, I'm going to try anerobic kraut. It's supposed to be a lot better for you, but it takes 3 months, so that doesn't work for us AT ALL right now. We currently go through 1/2 gallon of fermented veggies a week, so I'd need a lot going to get 3 months ahead.
I have one of the cultures for health pickler jar things with the four piece cap that allows gassesnout but no air in. One of these:
I used that last time but I think I let the kraut sit too long. The directions that cake with is said at least a week. It was soooo strong so I thought I'd done something wrong.
I also got a kraut pounder and so that did help me to get all the juices out.
It was way too salty, too.
I will try again, though!
Friends and family are going to start thinking I'm weird for all of the new things I'm making lately... between the raw sauerkraut, liver dumpling soup (I ground the liver myself and everything!), bone broths (about to get started on making that for the first time!), and soon-to-be kombucha. I also invited people to join me in putting their names on a waiting list at my friend's farm for part of a grassfed cow. I'm fully diving right into this stuff and loving every minute of it!
Glad to hear you're enjoying things Joanie!
A few days ago I tried lacto-fermented shredded squash (because I had some extra). It's GROSS, in case you were ever inspired to try it. It smells odd and is totally mushy. I dumped it out.
Next week when we get to TN, I'm going to have my dh make me some canning jar lids with airlocks. Airlocks are about $1 each at a brew store, so it should be fairly cheap. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying 10 jars at $12 each. Below is an interesting link of a fermenting experiment with lots of different types of fermenting styles.
I've read (and listened) to so much GAPS stuff in the last few weeks that I'm starting to feel like an expert. The thing is, there is still more to learn! We are going to leave WI on Monday and head for TN. It's going to take us 3-4 days to get there, so I've been trying to make enough food in advance. Tons of soup and fermenting going on over here! Today I'm trying milk kefir sour cream, as my grains had finally grown enough to split them and try a few new things. We've been going through so much sour cream lately, it's crazy!
Thank you for letting me join!
Does anyone know if buying fermented veggies is as good as making them at home? At least to start? Is Bubbies an okay brand? I am really intimidated by the idea of making them myself because I've never eaten them before so I don't know how they're supposed to turn out. In fact, I haven't even ever seen a fermented vegetable.
Also, is there a way to ferment without using Whey? I'm reading the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book by Campbell-McBride but I'm not seeing a way to ferment without whey. Not sure if I'm missing it because I'm trying to read fast because I'm desperate to get started with this. We keep our home 100% dairy free because one of my kids has a really horrible true allergy to milk and I am not going to risk having it around. TIA!
While it is better to make your own (and much cheaper), I'd say that something is better than nothing. The Bubbies brand is supposed to be alive and fresh, so I think it a good place to get a start and see how it's supposed to turn out.
Yes, you can ferment without whey. You can use, salt, beet kavas, ginger bug, water kefir grains, and more. Cabbage has it's own good bacteria on it, so you don't need to any anything but salt and a bit of filtered water to it. You can also use a bit of kraut juice from your previous batch to make the next one. Really fermenting is pretty flexible and fun to experiment with.
Christina: How is your first week coming along?
Joanie: Did you open your kraut yet?
I did! I opened it at day 4. I've been enjoying it! Though, should I have closed it back up and left it on the counter another few days past that? I put it in the fridge after opening it and then realized I had no idea if fermenting ceases with refrigeration. I was afraid to leave it out after having opened it, though.
Also, I forgot to use filtered water. Oops. Will that ruin a batch?
In other news, I tasted my first homemade chicken bone broth today! LOVE IT. I have a new crock of beef bone broth going for the next 24 hours. I swear I'm cooking all the time these days...
I'm slightly concerned about keeping chicken in my diet. My sister told me her acupuncturist said that chicken shouldn't be eaten by humans. I don't remember the exact reason. I need to call her back about that. All I know is it's supposedly bad for our bodies. Then I had a friend tell me that her veterinarian said poultry is the last kind of food you should provide dogs and cats for similar reasons. I'm wondering what the heck is up with chicken now... and should I eliminate it? Hmm.
RE: Bubbies - Abra, yes the pickles are crunchy. And OMG the best pickles I've ever had. I'm not a huge pickle fan, but these things are GOOOOOOOD. Their pickle relish is great, too, and nice and quick for salmon salad (like tuna-fish salad... but with salmon!).
RE: Broth - Joanie, broth is the best thing ever! We keep a kind of 'continual stock' going... we take a few cups out when we need it and then pour in more water. Every 3-4 days we dump the bones and start over. I just keep it on high for the first 12 hours and then low the rest of the time. Stock freezes really well, too. I freeze mine in quart sized canning jars. Just leave at least an inch headspace. I also put about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in each batch - supposedly that helps the vitamins/minerals leach better. I THINK I read that in the GAPS book.
RE: Chicken - I think if you can find a GOOD source of chicken it should be okay. I'll not touch a plain old regular chicken breast again (from |most| restaurants, general grocery store chicken). Battery raised chicken is some really sketchy stuff!
RE: Making your own veggies - I think I will make that my goal for next weekend. I think you can use some Bubbies kraut water as a culture water, too, yes? And I think it's best to use like bottled spring water, right? Not even filtered tap. I don't want flouride in mine, and our area adds that.
I'm doing some more canning this weekend. Just fruits in honey (or none in the case of applesauce). I think this is okay... right? I haven't read anything about canning in the GAPS book. I'm only using honey to can the berries and then just canning the applesauce and pearsauce straight, without any honey.
We've also been stocking up on squash, pumpkins and onions in our cold storage. Just buying some extra each weekend at the farmer's market. I think we have about 20 butternut and about 10 pumpkins. Next two weekends (last of the market) we'll really be stocking up. I'd like to have about double what we have now.
Our first week is going great! We only had one night where we realized we hadn't taken the next soup batch's meat out of the freezer, so we had sugar free beef franks from Wellness Meats and some pickles.
I've had a lot of gas, mostly in the middle of the night. And I've had some kind of intestinal cramping, but other than that I'm feeling pretty good. I even started my period today and was completely shocked by it! Usually I have lots of symptoms - namely 'period stomach' - queasey, diarrhea, sweats, etc. I had a bit of diarrhea at the beginning of the week, but my stools now are pretty solid... sorry tmi. Which is NOT normal for me... I haven't had firm stool in about ten years! Ever since I went to Mexico as a teenager.
We are now somewhere between phases 2 and 3. We are eating 1 egg yolk in each bowl of soup (3 per day) and eating a pickle and kraut with each meal. We're also taking a few spoonfuls of kraut and/or pickle juice with each meal.
I got avocado so we can start incorporating that tomorrow.
I haven't weighed myself this week; I will do that Monday I think.
Glad to hear that things are going well! I've been gassy and bloated too, which I hope is just die-off. I'm still feeling dizzy and run down too, which I suspect is from detoxing. I hope that I start feeling better soon. My dh is feeling pretty well and his digestion has been a lot better (not perfect) since he started. He still can't do eggs (gives him a reaction every time we've tried), but he's having avocados and nut butter now. I think the next thing that he's going to add is fresh carrot juice.
Chicken: I agree with Christina, if it's well raised, I would eat it.
Kraut: Yes, you're supposed to use at least filtered water. The chlorine will weaken a culture, plus who wants all that other crap in there too? Also, you could have totally closed it up and left it on the counter. I do all the time, it might not be ideal to introduce air, but it certainly will still work. Once in the fridge the fermentation will slow dramatically, but it won't stop completely.
Canning: I suspect that it's fine to can with honey.. Maybe someone else online would know?
I've been making food non-stop for the last few days. We are going to be driving from WI to TN this week and I want to have enough pre-made soup, broth and fermented veggies to make it. I think I finally have enough!
I also tried making sour cream out of my kefir grains. It worked great, but I don't know how to get the grains out of the kefir, so we've just been eating them (I had enough to split from my milk kefir).
All the sources I've read online say that if you're breastfeeding you should skip the 'Intro' part of the diet and go straight to full GAPS. They say that the benefits on getting good nutrition and healing your body will out-weigh the risk of detoxing. Then, when you're done breastfeeding you should go back and do the Intro diet to clean things up a bit more. I think a lot of my issues are withdrawl from carbs and yeast die-off. My husband is doing the intro diet and he's had less symptoms than me, so each person is different and some hardly experience any issues. Oh, and we also introduced the diet very slowly to help ease into the change. Over the course of 2 months I slowly made less meals with grains and added more fermented foods.